Virgin Islands National Park

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I thought I would reintroduce my National Parks blogging with Buffalo, NY, but my husband has been slow to upload the photos from his camera, so I figured I'd do a blast from the past post - and you don't get more different from Buffalo, NY than St. Johns U.S.V.I., and so here we are.

I'm writing today about all the national parks in St. Johns (there some on St. Thomas and St. Croix, too, but those will have to be blogged about another day - i.e., someday when I get to go visit those parks).  St. Johns is a Carribean island that is a U.S. territory, and, luckily for the American people, a large swath of it was donated to be a National Park (by the Rockefellers, I believe, so never say a rich person never did nothing for you).  The island is thus remarkably preserved, and a number of the beaches are national parks.  There is also remarkable hiking,  amazing vistas, an underwater snorkeling trail, and some ruins of old sugar mills. Oh, and ancient petrogylphs carved by a tropical pool.  All in paradise.  It's incredible, and when I am counting favorite National Parks I'd be a fool not to include St. Johns, U.S.V.I.  And, of course, lots of the island isn't national park so there are hotels and houses to rent and a few small towns for shopping and eating out and such, so it's pretty much perfect.

Because I am a spoiled rotten human being, I've been there a number of times, though, to my small credit, mostly when I was a child being taken by my parents.  Last time we went was when my first was just born - it was actually my very first time meeting my now brother-in-law (who then lived in France and the whole family met up with him in the middle) and it was remarkably easy to bring him, despite him being three months old.  You do have to fly to St. Thomas, and then get a ferry to St. Johns, but we did it when we were kids and it was fine.  An every time I've gone I've had an amazing time, beaching, and hiking and petrogylphing.  It is, of course, a real luxury to get to go there, but if you do have a choice to travel to the Carribean, I think you would never be disappointed with St. Johns.  (Unless you want a lot lot of nightlife - like clubs and such. But if you are a National Park-y person, you'd dig it, I promise).  We always rented a house when we went, but there is one campground (Cinnamon Bay) and one resort (Caneel Bay Hotel) in the park itself - there are links on the NPS website. 

Ok, let's see some photos - by the way, if anything, this place is prettier than these photos - they come from our old, not so good digital camera: 

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 The beach!!

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Ruins!

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Petroglyphs!!

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Wildlife!!

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A Teeny Tiny Baby on the Beach!!

Important Info:

Location:  All over St. Johns, U.S. V.I..  The visitor center is in Cruz Bay, walking distance from the ferry terminal

Opening Hours:   The park (which is all over the island) is open year round - the visitor's center is open every day except Christmas.   

Official NPS website

Good for kids? oh my lord, yes.  I mean, you have to decide to pay to fly your kids to the Carribean, which I understand is not for everyone (I mean, I sure haven't flown three kids to the Carribean any time), but if you do, it's a kids paradise.  Beach and hiking and snorkeling and it's safe and not to commercial, and they use American money, and it's just so easy.  And relaxed.  It's like a Jimmy Buffet song come to life. 

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 Amazin' views

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017